Halmoni Naengmyeon 할머니냉면 (Cheongyangri, Seoul)

We’re well into winter but crazy warm weather (temps in the 50s) has me craving a refreshing bowl of naengmyeon. Eating chilled noodles was mandatory for me back in summer when I needed necessary carbs to fuel my bike rides, so this local restaurant in Cheongyangri was a godsend. The first visit was a disappointment because there was a line wrapped around the shop. But, determined and curious, I was able to go on off-hours a week later and finally found out why people flocked here all-year round.

Halmoni Naengmyeon (“Grandma Noodles”) serves, amazingly, only one dish: spicy naengmyeon. At first appearance, it’s a bibim naengmyeon (mixed noodles) that looks harmless, but once you take your first bite a slow burning sensation will hit every part of your tongue. Perfect for those who love heat but quite a challenge to me. To minimize the burn, the restaurant recommends its customers to either remove some of the sauce or add the accompanying chilled yuksu (broth), essentially turning it into mul naengmyeon in the process but mellowing out the intense spiciness. Spicy or not, the flavors were all there and it was one of the most refreshing, heartiest, and spiciest bowls ever.

At a bargain basement price of 5,000 won, it’s no surprise that this 40-year-old institution has been one of the few mainstays inside the vibrant traditional market at Cheongnyangri. Pictured is the large version called naengmyeon gopbaeki for 6,000 won, which I was not able to finish due to sheer size, not spiciness. 🙂

Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars

Halmoni Naengmyeon 할머니 냉면

Jaegi-dong 470, Dongdaemun-gu (서울 동대문구 제기동 470)

Phone: 02-963-5362

Hours: Open every day 10:00 am ~ 9:30 pm

Click here for an interactive map:  http://naver.me/GvLe92DR


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